A Man of Parts

Character sketch from my other blog:  A Man of Parts.

chorizo sausage soupSometimes I make a big pot of Faux Chorizo “Sausage” Soup. It’s simmering on the stove as I type, as a matter of fact.

Instead of using pork Chorizo sausage, I simply brown up some plain ground turkey and then add the following “Chorizo” spices to the soup. The soup itself is usually a chicken broth base with whatever combination of soup-ish veggies are hiding in the fridge or freezer, and maybe some noodles, rice, and/or beans tossed in for fun.  Tonight’s version has two cans of stewed tomatoes (undrained) added to it as well as my standard chicken broth.

This spice mix has become my go-to soup spice … we love it!


  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed (I personally use 6 cloves – we love garlic!)
  • a splash of red wine (optional – I use a splash of red wine vinegar)
  • 1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (I use cayenne powder)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

I have a tendency to make VERY thick soups. My kids always feel like soup anywhere else or from a can is “too watery.” They jokingly refer to super thick soup as Mom Soup. My son often asked what exactly was the difference between soups and stews. In our house, it’s difficult to tell.

When my oldest daughter got married last November, she called me up one day after Thanksgiving and said, “I’m so proud of myself! I made my first batch of Mom Soup! It was almost thick enough to eat with a fork!” I was so proud.

The ultimate soup compliment from anyone in our house is, “It’s almost as good as Mom Soup.”

I usually use the following linked recipe for my soups. To make a homemade soup into “Mom Soup” if it seems watery, just add more stuff. Rice, beans, split peas, noodles, whatever.


Gonna go stir my soup now!


Radical Acceptance

Last night my son was telling me about the concept he’s been learning called Radical Acceptance. When I asked him to define the term, he said, “It just ‘is’.”

My response was something like, “Huh?”

He explained further that basically whatever happens in life is what is. Sometimes wonderful things happen, sometimes not. But we need to accept it, whatever it is, as what “is.” That’s actually a radical idea in this world where pretty much everyone’s in denial about something.

I think some of the times when I’ve had the most trouble emotionally in life have been when I’ve fought against “what is” and tried to deny reality. “No, so-and-so isn’t really dying!” But they are. “No, such-and-such isn’t really going to happen!” But it is going to happen. “No, it just can’t be!” But it is.

Sometimes it just is.

Sometimes it just is fatal. Sometimes it just is heartbreaking. Sometimes it just is mean or hateful. Sometimes it really is just unfair.

But fighting it internally and denying it and trying to ignore it doesn’t make it different. Acceptance of what is can lead us to finding those sometimes elusive pragmatic and practical solutions for dealing with the here-and-now of what is.

Some people insist that “it’s all good.” But honestly, sometimes it isn’t good. And that’s really okay to admit. Because that’s real. A false smile is exactly that … false. And I have no desire to live a false life. Besides, I believe that God meets us where we are … where we really are … and I don’t want to miss that meeting by living in denial, far removed from the reality of what is.

I have watched recently the transformation of people I love into the best versions of themselves as they’ve embraced what is.

So, here’s to what is. I will give thanks during this month of Thanksgiving for what my life is, in all it’s glory and gory, in all it’s crazy, lovely, and sometimes painful details.

Because it is.

colorful cornLet’s see … this week I wrote a short story, turned in a Grad School paper, saw Anne Lamott in Seattle, cleaned the bunnies’ enclosure, cooked, cleaned, slept, ate, ordered pizza. Life, I guess. Although seeing Anne Lamott was a Bucket List type of item for me, so that particular thing was a super big deal.

I think one of the most important things I learned this week was something said at Lamott’s presentation. She was talking about writing and how she doesn’t believe in inspiration all that much … she believes in habit. Building the habit of writing. Every day. At the same time. Inspired or not.

My oldest daughter, Kelsey Munger – writing, is doing NaNoWriMo this November (National Novel Writing Month), so she’s been keeping a running tally of her word count. 20,000+ so far and counting. Proud Mama moment. But she’s also setting a good example for me of developing a daily habit of writing.

I tend to be one of those folks who waits to get inspired before I sit down to write … consequently I don’t write nearly as often as I’d like to. Even my papers for Grad School tend to get pushed back to the edge of deadlines while I wait to be inspired. But I realized this week that if I just sit down and start the process of getting words out, the content starts taking shape in the midst of the drivel that usually first comes out.

Anne Lamott, in her book Bird by Bird, talks about the importance of doing sh***y first drafts. Just dump it all out and turn off the internal editor. That’s sometimes difficult for me. My internal editor is a big voiced woman with a pointy finger wagging in my face. I think her name is Ursula. Like the sea witch in the Little Mermaid.

I need to learn to say, “Hush now, Ursula. This is just the sh***y first draft. I’ll edit later and then you can come back and wag your finger and shout all you want. But for now, shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. I’m writing.”

So. Habit. I need to rebuild the daily habit of writing and stop waiting for inspiration. What are you waiting to do because inspiration hasn’t struck yet? My other inspirational problem area is housekeeping. Maybe it’s time for us all to just develop a new habit (or three) rather than waiting for the universe to embrace us with inspiring rainbows and unicorns.

Thanks, Anne Lamott, for being such an inspiration. Hey! Wait a minute. Inspiration DID strike this week … through Lamott’s words! And she told me not to wait for inspiration.


Irony. The spice of life.

How My Folks Met

How My Folks Met.


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